The Supreme Court has approved Central Government’s Graded Response Action Plan to tackle different levels of pollution in Delhi-NCR.
The apex court also has asked Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to upgrade its existing infrastructure and set up additional monitoring stations in Delhi-NCR.
Graded Response Action Plan
The enforcement of action plan will be under orders of Environment Pollution (Control and Prevention) Authority (EPCA). All other authorities will act in aid of such direction. It has enumerated a number of measures which include closing brick kilns, stone crushers, hot mix plants, intensifying public transport services besides increase in frequency of mechanised cleaning of road and sprinkling of water on roads to tackle problem of pollution.
Common Pollution Code
- The action plan proposes common pollution code for Delhi-NCR to provide graded response to health emergencies caused by noxious air due to pollution.
- The code categorises the severity of the pollutants present in the air into four categories- moderate to poor, very poor, severe, very Severe or emergency depending upon the level of pollutants in air.
- Under it, when particulate matter (PM) 2.5 levels are above 250 to 430 micrograms per cubic metre in the ambient air it will be termed as “severe” levels of pollution.
- After air pollution reaches such alarming proportions, immediate steps will be taken. It includes ban on construction activities and implementation of road space rationing schemes.
China’s capital city Beijing also has a similar pollution code where regular colour-coded alerts are issued based on the levels of toxic particles in the air.